Sultan Ahmed Mosque
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Istanbul: Old Town Tour and Bosphorus Lunch Cruise

1. Istanbul: Old Town Tour and Bosphorus Lunch Cruise

After being transferred from your city center hotel between 8:30AM and 9:00AM, you will travel with your private guide to the Old City of İstanbul. Your tour will then begin with a guided tour of the Hippodrome, the Obelisk of Theodisius and the German Fountain. You will then proceed to the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque), also known as the Sultan Ahmet Camii (or Sultan Ahmed Mosque). This breath-taking building is one of the most majestic Ottoman mosques in all of Turkey. Following this mosque, you will head to Haigha Sophia. Often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world, the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya in Turkish) in Sultanahmet is easily one of Istanbul's most impressive sights. It also has one of the most turbulent histories of any museum in the world. To find out why, it's best to delve back through its previous incarnations with your guide. You will then have lunch on a private yacht while experiencing a Bosphorus Cruise. Places you will see from the Bosphorus while having your lunch will include the Dolmabahçe Palace (the main administration center of the Ottoman Empire), the Çıragan Palace, the Ortakoy Mosque, the Bosphorus Bridge, Rumeli Castle, and the Golden Horn. Your menu during this cruise will consist of 10 kinds of cold starters, a hot starter, a fresh seasonal Salad, a main course (grilled fish, chicken or meatballs with rice and garlic), fresh seasonal fruits, soft drinks and hot drinks. At the conclusion of the tour, you will be transferred to your hotel or anywhere of your choosing in the city center.

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Istanbul: Full-Day Guided Tour

2. Istanbul: Full-Day Guided Tour

Istanbul straddles East and West, enticing your senses and expanding your perceptions of the world around you. Todays full day tour will give you a glimpse at some of Istanbul's incredible sites and sounds and leave you with a deeper understanding of this rich land. Begin your day at one of Istanbul's greatest architectural masterpieces - the Hagia Sophia. This 6th century basilica will stun you with its towering minarets and beautiful handcrafted mosaics. It is called, by some, the 8th wonder of the world and you'll soon see why. Soon after your visit to Hagia Sophia, head across the street to the Blue Mosque. One of the most famous monuments in all of Turkey, the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Mosque) is a monument to the Ottoman empire and its builders. It gets its name from the more than 20,000 Iznik blue tiles that adorn its facade and interior and its history will impress you as you receive a tour. Then step back in time a bit to the Hippodrome. Here, imagine what life might have been like as locals traveled to see the chariot races at this famous sports arena. The area dates back to Egyptian times and there are still relics of the past dotted around this incredible area. With so much history, it's time to take a little shopping break. Head to the Grand Bazaar, where you'll have the chance to barter on everything from fine leather goods, to spices and plenty of sweets to satisfy your sweet tooth. There are nearly 4000 stalls here, so you're sure to find something for yourself.  After lunch visit the recently discovered and restored Şerefiye Cistern, which was built by Roman Emperor Theodosius II between 428 and 443 to store water supplied by the Valens Aqueduct (Roman Period Water Reservoir). Your tour ends here.

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Byzantine & Ottoman Relics of Istanbul Full Day Tour

3. Byzantine & Ottoman Relics of Istanbul Full Day Tour

On this full-day tour, you will discover some of the most magnificent sites of historical Istanbul, coming into contact with the historical wonders of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires and uncovering the roots of modern-day Turkish culture. See the heart of the Old City, the seat of two of history's most notorious empires. Visit Hagia Sophia, a wonder of ancient architecture, a basilica constructed by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century. Just across from the Hagia Sophia stands the famous Blue Mosque with its striking blue iconic tiles and unique 6 minarets, built in the name of Sultan Ahmet. The Hippodrome was a center for sporting events, such as chariot races, as well as political activities in the Old City. Decorated by the Serpentine Column, the Obelisk of Theodosius and the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, the Hippodrome is one of Istanbul's most popular tourist attractions. Next, you will visit the world-famous Grand Covered Bazaar, the world's largest "souk" (market) with nearly 4000 shops selling antiques, jewellery, gold, carpets, leather wares and more. You can even see a demonstration of the making of a traditional handmade Turkish carpet! Enjoy lunch, then move on to Topkapi Palace, residence of the Ottoman Sultans. This sumptuous residence contains imperial treasures, sacred Islamic relics of the prophet Mohammed, Chinese porcelain, weapons, and more. You'll get to visit the Sultan Tombs at the Hagia Sophia, too!

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Bosphorus Cruise and Two Continents Tour with Local Guide

4. Bosphorus Cruise and Two Continents Tour with Local Guide

Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar) was built between 1597 and 1664, also it is the second oldest covered bazaar in the city. You can find exotic aromas and various spices. It contains fruit vegetable, flower and fish shops inside. Rustem Pasha Mosque, for a tour. It was built by a famous Bosnian, Rüstem Pasha and designed by -one the most famous architect in history- Mimar Sinan. One of the most famous mosque in Istanbul for her interior design. Dolmabahce Palace, was the first European style palace. It was built by Ottoman Sultans between 1843 and 1846.This is the last residence for Ottoman Sultans with 365 rooms and 22 saloons. Also famous with the great collection of European antiquity. Ataturk lived the final part of his life in the palace and died there. Bosphorus Strait connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara and splits the European and Asian sides of Turkey. Bosphorus Bridge, pass through the bridge and watch the beautiful view. It is 1704m long and was the 4th longest bridge around the world. Don’t miss this unique chance to pass from one continent (Europe) to another (Asia) in 2 minutes. Camlica Hill, the highest point in Istanbul, exposing a panoramic view of Istanbul city and Bosphorus. Take a little break for lunch here and enjoy the view while you are eating your tasty meal. Ortakoy, is a cosmopolitan area, bordering waters of the Bosphorus. Turks, Greeks, Armenians and Jews are leaving here. The neighbourhood hosts many different religious. It is also a popular spot for locals with art galleries, night clubs, and restaurants.

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Secrets of Istanbul: 5-Hour Walking Tour with Lunch

5. Secrets of Istanbul: 5-Hour Walking Tour with Lunch

Your 5-hour guided walk begins in Sultanhamet, in the heart of the main tourist area of Istanbul. From here you’ll head to the Blue Mosque, where you’ll admire the 6 minarets and stunning tiles that were made in Iznik, the birthplace of the Ottoman Empire. Next your guide will tell you about Hagia Sophia and the Roxana Baths before continuing on to the ancient Hippodrome. Hear about the famous obelisk that was shipped from Egypt to the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius in 6th century A.D. Walk along the ancient roadway past the Ottoman Parliament House and then make your way to the Grand Bazaar. Marvel at the labyrinth of streets lined with textiles and most every other kind of product as well! You can learn the local art of bargaining here. Enjoy a stroll to the nearby Sahaflar Book Market, where books were printed for the first time during the Ottoman era. Learn about Islam and its holy book, the Koran. On the way to the Suleymaniye complex you’ll pass by the spectacular façade of Istanbul University and enter the Cagaloglu district, which is a shopping hub for locals that’s far from the main tourist attractions. Once you reach the Suleymaniye complex you’ll see the Turkish bath, the library, the madrasah, eateries, and the grand Suleymaniye Mosque that dominates the skyline along the Golden Horn. Learn about the history of the Mosque, named after the most famous and powerful of sultans, Suleyman the Magnificent. Your guide knows a great hidden teahouse here where you can drink çay (tea) and try a nargile (water pipe) with its intoxicating aroma and fruity flavors. After the break, you’ll continue on through the hidden streets of Istanbul. See local markets where products are made on site. Visit the hidden Rustem Pasha Mosque and admire its lovely tiles. Then it will be time to taste some baklava, a delicious Turkish dessert. Explore the spice market and see a mountain of Turkish spices, Turkish delight, and local handicrafts. From the Spice Bazaar you’ll take a walk so that you can appreciate the views of the picturesque Galata Bridge. Finally it’s time to relax for a delicious lunch of local specialties. After lunch your guide can tell you how to get back to your hotel and give you some advice on other things to do in your free time.

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Istanbul: 6-Hour Highlights Tour

6. Istanbul: 6-Hour Highlights Tour

This is a fully guided tour inside the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya), Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, Orient Express train station, Galata Bridge and Spice Bazaar. Along the way, stop to hear the stories of the Roman Hippodrome (including the Egyptian Obelisk and Serpent Column German Fountain), mausoleums of Ottoman sultans and Constantine’s Column. Learn about the famous Orient Express. Take a break for lunch and enjoy traditional Turkish cuisine in a friendly setting at a nontouristy restaurant where your gourmet guide will choose some memorable food for you. Please note the itinerary will change slightly on certain days due to changes in the opening hours. 

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Istanbul Classical Full-Day Tour

7. Istanbul Classical Full-Day Tour

Your guide will pick you up from your hotel and guide you through the city to explore the following places in depth: First you will visit Hagia Sophia.This ancient Basilica was built by Constantine the Great in the 4th century and reconstructed by Justinin in the 6th century. It is one of the architectural marvels of all time. The Blue Mosque is one of the best examples of Ottoman and Turkish art, built between 1609 and 1616 by the Architect Mehmet Aga. The mosque takes its name from the blue Iznik tiles which decorate its walls spelndidly. The ancient Hippodrome, where chariot races took place in the center of Byzantine political life, stands in the open space in front of the Blue Mosque. This area, now called Sultanahmet, was once home to a series of historic monuments. Of the monuments which once stood only three remain, the Obelisk of the Theodosius, the Serpentine Column and the Column on Constantine. Look forward to experiencing the bustling atmosphere of the Grand Bazaar. In this labyrinth of streets and passages there are more than 4000 shops with each trade having its own area, selling mostly gold, silver and Turkish handicrafts. Afterwards you will see Topkapi Palace, the great palace of the Ottoman Sultans from the 15th to 19th centuries. It houses an exqusite collection of crystal, silver and Chinese porcelain, and the Holy Mantle containing relics of the Prophet Mohammed. Another highlight of this tour is the Suleymaniye Mosque, built between 1550 and 1557 by the famous architect Sinan. We will have a stop for lunch around midday and the tour will finish with a drop-off at your hotel.

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Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia & More: Istanbul City Tour

8. Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia & More: Istanbul City Tour

This full-day sightseeing tour of Istanbul provides a perfect introduction to the city that straddles Europe and Asia. When Istanbul was known as Constantinople, it was the capital of the Roman Empire and the wealthiest metropolis in Europe. On this city tour you’ll visit Istanbul’s 4 most important historic sites with a local guide. The Blue Mosque is an iconic monument in both the Turkish and Islamic worlds. The stunning structure was built in the classical Ottoman style, and features 6 towering minarets and 260 windows that provide illumination for its vast inner chamber that is lined with more than 20,000 Iznik tiles. In the 6th century, the Hagia Sophia was built by the Emperor Justinian. After the Ottoman conquest, it was converted to a mosque and later converted into a museum, featuring many beautiful Byzantine mosaics. One of the largest and oldest palaces in the world, Topkapi is the crown jewel of the Ottoman Empire. With its treasury and exotic buildings overlooking the Golden Horn, walking Topkapi's grounds offers gorgeous views of the city and the nearby Bosphorus. You’ll have time to shop at the Grand Bazaar – its 58 streets are lined with more than 4,000 shops. It is one of the world's largest covered markets, and is particularly known for its jewelry, leather, pottery, spices, and carpets.

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Topkapi, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome & Bazaar

9. Topkapi, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome & Bazaar

Your 6-hour tour begins in the morning with a short drive from your hotel to the the ancient Byzantine Hippodrome, where your guide will show you the Egyptian Obelisk, Serpentine Column, and Fountain of Wilhelm II. Afterwards you’ll visit the Blue Mosque, known for its 6 elegant minarets and blue Iznik tiles. See the Saint Sophia Museum, built as a church during the reign of Emperor Theodosius and destroyed in the fire of Nika Revolt in 532 A.D. After a lunch break at a local restaurant (included in the tour price), you’ll visit the Topkapi Palace, the residence and administrative center of the Ottoman sultans. You’ll also have the chance to shop for some Turkish handicrafts before the transfer back to your hotel.

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Istanbul City Sightseeing Tour & Turkish Dinner & Show

10. Istanbul City Sightseeing Tour & Turkish Dinner & Show

Start your day with an 8-hour city sightseeing tour by luxury coach, seeing all of Istanbul’s top attractions with an expert local guide. The focus of the tour is on the Sultanahmet or Old City area, where you’ll visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hagia Sophia Museum and the Blue Mosque. Contrast Hagia Sophia’s fascinating Ottoman-era and Byzantine architecture with the extravagance of the Blue Mosque, which was built to rival it. Admire the Mosque’s 6 minarets and interior Iznik wall tiles, while your guide tells you about the demanding sultan who designed it. After a break for lunch at a Sultanahmet restaurant, you’ll continue on to Topkapi Palace, where you’ll step back in time to a world when sultans and their harems ruled Istanbul. Explore the palace’s ornate Imperial Treasury, and then head back outside to visit Istanbul’s Hippodrome. You’ll hear about the chariot races, polo games, royal celebrations, and brutal massacres that took place here, and envisage its former glory on a walk around the grounds. The last stop of the day tour will be the Grand Bazaar, which is one of the world's largest covered markets. Find the best spots to shop in this amazing souk before returning to your Istanbul hotel by coach. Note that you’ll have approximately 2 hours at leisure before your evening program begins. You will then board one of Istanbul’s finest cruise for an evening of traditional Turkish culture and cuisine. Relax over a delicious 4-course dinner with wine, beer, and soft drinks, and then sit back and enjoy a live belly dancing and Anatolian folklore show. After the show, your guide will take you back to your central Istanbul hotel.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Sultan Ahmed Mosque

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What people are saying about Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 220 reviews

Very nice day. There were only two of us and Emre our guide couldn't do enough. Thank you to him for his devotion and his little attentions to transmit his passion for Istanbul to us. Olivier

Salih is a fantastic guide! He is very knowledgable and personable. We absolutely loved the tour, and definitely will use him again. Highly recommended!

It was a very interesting excursion. For me it was a supplementary to the day trip from the previous day to Haga Sophia and the Blue Mosqu

Ayla is an incredibly funny and very entertaining as well as educated tour guide. It was so much fun ! Must do !!!!

Worth the tour if you want to understand the history behind all the majestic places in Istanbul.